Calm & Comfy – Trakker Sanctuary Carp CareGive your catch 5 Star bank side treatment thanks to Trakker’s ‘The Sanctuary’ collection!
We have come a long way since those early days of The Carp Catchers and Richard Walker in terms of fish care on the bank – and we owe nothing short of sheer praise to company’s like northern-based maestros-of-everything, Trakker. Thanks to their incredible collection of innovative-minded consultants (over 200 years of combined angling experience), access to some truly amazing materials and you can see how we’ve gone from Hessian sacks to sleeping bags to bedchairs to inflatable mattresses and to where we are today: ‘The Sanctuary’ – Trakker’s complete carp care collection.
It’s a range of well thought-out products, including two styles of unhooking mats, two retaining slings, a weigh sling and a net float and not only are the aesthetics cock-on, but they feature what Carpology feels compelled to case as “the most fish-friendly material we’ve ever seen”.
Trakker Sanctuary Crib
Fabric super-brand, Trakker, a favourite with everyone from the guy who fishes the commercials right through to hardcore seasoned chap who’s out there doing it week-in, week-out, 12 months of the year, reaches further for the ultimate unhooking mat. Whilst some like a more traditional flat-based, un-walled mat (in that case, look no further than their Sanctuary Padded Mat, a personal favourite of mine), the Crib, thanks to its high-sided stiff outer walls means it’s perfect for those who like the added security that the fish, no matter how much it plays up, can’t go anywhere.
Along with the sides, there’s a rubberised internal finish which is by far the most easy-clean, fish-friendly we’ve seen and a thick padded soft foam base shouts out total carp protection. Unlike other high-walled mats which get bogged down with trapped water, Trakker have ensured this doesn’t happen by including mesh vents at either end and should your latest catch really have a ‘face on’, there’s a carp-retention flap to help chill him out and a built-in kneeling mat to keep your knees in working order.
On top of all these carp/you-friendly features, the other real beaut about this mat is how compact it is when packed away. Pull the Velcro straps apart to turn this 115cm x 60cm x 5cm sized mat (capably of handling carp to 60lbs) into something that folds in on itself and into a carry bag for easy transportation.
Trakker Sanctuary Padded Mat
Trakker know how to make proper unhooking mats and the emphasis on the Sanctuary Padded Mat is thickness and construction. Along with being filled with the softest and most cushioning foam, it also has a kneeling mat and retention flap. In terms of build quality, it’s made from the same hardwearing but incredibly fish-friendly PU-coated fabric which Trakker have used on this complete range.
I personally prefer a flat mat like this because not only can you get right over the top of the fish should it play up, but the thick padding absorbed any of the fish’s movement ensuring it can’t cause itself any damage. Plus, it also make a nice windbreak at the front of your bivvy door; doubled up nicely for a guest chair; and packs down really small into the supplied carry bag.
It’s everything you’ve ever wanted from a sling but until now everyone you’ve ever used hasn’t quite been right. Trakker’s version is made from a fish-friendly mesh which is also awesome at draining away excess water and makes the overweight weight of the sling extremely light. Thankfully they’ve used strong, lightweight aluminium poles which means getting your catch into and out of the sling is very easy (gone are the days of having to place the sling over the fish, roll it over, pull the cords through and then position the fish in the middle of the sling) and to complete the set-up of this 115 (L) x 50cm (W) there’s fixed steel weighing loops and heavy-duty side zips.
The greatest invention to come out carp-care-land since the unhooking mate. This floating weigh sling combines robustness and lightness and gets its buoyancy thanks to four net floats to ensure it sits on the lake’s surface at all times. Add in full mesh construction for optimum water flow, removable retention cord and a double-zip system and it means that any carp housed within cannot escape. Available in two sizes: Standard (115 (L) x 65cm (D) and XL (132 (L) x 70cm (D) for the real big brutes and both come supplied with their own carry bags which also retain any smell, making the car/van instantly wife-friendly should you have had a bag-up sesh.